Concord has long been rumored to be exploring the possibility of a sale at a $4 billion valuation.
According to Bloomberg, that’s true, but the company has been seeking an “extraordinary-plus” offer in the region of $6 billion.
Indeed, sources speaking to Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw suggest that, to date, Concord has turned down acquisition bids worth $4.5 billion and $5 billion.
Concord is majority owned by pension fund, Michigan Retirement Systems.
Unlike private equity or other financial investors, pension funds are typically looking for ‘slow and steady’ returns from assets over long periods of time.
This likely allows Michigan to be choosier in the sale offers it entertains for Concord than many other types of sellers currently operating in music.
Concord is understood to turn over around $500 million a year and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. In addition, the company runs offices in Nashville, New York, London, Berlin and Miami.
The company’s majority owner, Michigan Retirement Systems, has invested more than $1 billion into the music company. The firm is minority owned by members of its management.
”We got some very strong bids, and we passed on all of them”
Scott Pascucci, Concord, speaking to Bloomberg
Speaking to Bloomberg, Concord’s Chief Executive Officer, Scott Pascucci, said: ”We got some very strong bids, and we passed on all of them.”
Concord Music Group was formed after Concord Records acquired Fantasy Inc in 2004. Concord Music Group shortened its name to Concord in 2019.
The modern-day Concord was effectively formed in 2015 when the firm merged with The Bicycle Music Company to form Concord Bicycle Music.
Today, Concord has three primary operating divisions: Concord Recorded Music, Concord Music Publishing, and Concord Theatricals.
In both music publishing and recorded music, Concord has build its portfolio via a series of acquisitions:
- Concord Records, originally established in 1973, acquired Fantasy Inc in 2004 for a deal the Hollywood Reporter suggested was worth north of $80 million. Fantasy was the owner of both the Prestige catalog, and the post-Atlantic Stax Records catalog.
- In 2005, Concord acquired Telarc International, a Cleveland label with more than 1,000 jazz, classical and blues recordings, for an undisclosed sum.
- Concord acquired Rounder Records in 2010, with a catalog of over 3,000 recordings. Concord said at the time that the combination of Rounder’s masters “with Concord Music Group’s rich catalog of more than 10,000 master recordings strengthens Concord’s status as one of the world’s most significant independent record companies”.
- In March 2013, Concord itself was acquired from Village Roadshow Entertainment Group by Wood Creek Capital, an investment manager. This acquisition brought now-Concord CEO, Scott Pascucci, to the music company.
- In July 2014, Concord announced the acquisition of the Vee-Jay Records catalog, which included over 5,000 master recordings from the likes of Little Richard, John Lee Hooker, and Jimmy Reed.
- In April 2015, Concord announced its merger with The Bicycle Music Company to form Concord Bicycle Music. Prior to merging with Concord, Bicycle – owned by investor Steve Smith – had completed over 100 publishing and master recording catalog deals of its own, including the acquisition of Wind-Up Records in 2013.
- In May 2015, Concord announced a double acquisition of two independent record labels – Vanguard and Sugar Hill – from Welk Music Group. Concord also announced the raise of $100 million in capital for further acquisitions.
- In the same month (May 2015), Concord announced another double acquisition, this time of Fearless Records and Wind-Up Records.
- In October 2015, Concord acquired an undisclosed stake in record label Razor & Tie. Concord later fully acquired Razor & Tie in 2018.
- In 2016, another double label acquisition arrived, with Concord buying both Americana/folk/blues specialist HighTone Records and the recorded music assets of Bandit Records.
- In June 2017, Concord made its biggest acquisition yet: the buyout of Netherlands-based Imagem for a sum believed to be in excess of $550 million. The deal saw Concord ingest 250,000-plus copyrights from Imagem, taking Concord’s publishing catalog above 380,000 works.
- In July 2017, Music Business Worldwide revealed that Concord had acquired various assets from Warner Music Group as part of divestments from WMG following its own acquisition of Parlophone Label Group.
- In September 2017, Concord announced the acquisition of over 3,000 recordings as part of a buyout of the Savoy Label Group.
- Across the course of 2018, Concord acquired movie soundtrack and score label Varèse Sarabande, UK independent label Independiente, and theatre publisher Samuel French. The year also saw Concord acquire the storied Latin music label, Fania Records, and its sister music publishing company.
- In February 2018, Concord confirmed the acquisition of the Tams-Witmark musical theater library, containing over 120 titles from acclaimed writers such as Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Cy Coleman, and Jule Styne.
- In September 2019, Concord announced the acquisition of rock label Victory Records and its sister publishing company, Another Victory.
- In December 2019, Concord announced the acquisition of historic classical music publisher, The Sikorski Music Publishing Group.
- 2020 brought two huge acquisitions to the Concord stable, both of which reportedly cost over $100 million apiece. The first saw Concord buy a majority stake in Los Angeles-based music publisher, Pulse Music Group. Then, in August 2020, Concord Music Publishing announced the acquisition of the Imagine Dragons catalog. MBW reported that Concord acquired the writer’s share of the band’s catalog, in addition to a co-publishing share, in perpetuity.
- In addition, in October 2020 it emerged that Concord had acquired a catalog from Spirit Music Group that encompassed publishing rights originally developed by B-Unique.
Music Business Worldwide